Employment, Law

Can You Be Fired For DUI?

DUIDUI (driving under the influence) are widely regarded as serious felonies in most states and as such carry penalties that range from jail term and monetary fines to suspension of driver’s license and mandatory DUI classes. Over the years, DUI laws have become harsher given the number of fatalities and injuries reported in most states.

While there are laws to deal with DUI offenders, are there laws in place designed to punish people at the workplace for a DWI offenses? A majority of people often wonder if you can be fired for DUI offense. The answer is yes, it is possible to lose your job for simply being arrested and charged for driving while intoxicated.

According to most attorneys, if the reason for terminating your employment has nothing to do with discrimination or violation of the terms and conditions of your employment contract, your employer has the right to terminate your employment if you have been detained and charged with a DUI offense.

Listed below are grounds on which an employer can decide to terminate your employment contract following a DUI arrest:

1. If your job entails driving a company car, then being arrested for drunken driving can cause you to lose your job. This is because one of the penalties for drunken driving is automatic suspension of your driver’s license.

2. Depending on the kind of defense strategy adopted by your attorney, you may be able to retain your driving license. However, if you are compelled by a court of law to serve mandatory jail term, attend compulsory alcohol classes or do community service, then your working hours can be affected thus causing your employer to fire you.
Given that your working hours are essential to the profitability of the company, your employer may decide to find a replacement thereby rendering you jobless. So long as you are unable to discharge your duties at the workplace, your employer has the right to find a replacement for you.

3. If the vehicle you are driving is impounded following a DUI arrest, the relationship between you and the employer can be strained further, especially if the car is an asset of the business. The simple fact that you were operating a car that was entrusted to you by the company while drunk is an enough ground for terminating your employment.

4. If your current job position is widely regarded as a public sensitive profession, odds are that you may be demoted or fired from your workplace for a DUI offense. Drunken driving charges can greatly affect your company’s reputation, especially if you are the managing director or public relations manager of a company. Still, if your job entails security clearance, for example, military service, chauffer service and childcare service, you can be fired from your workplace.

5. Lying in your job application in regards to previous DUI arrests can also cause you to lose your job the instant your employer discovers that you are a second-time DUI offender.
Given that there are no laws to protect persons charged with drunken driving at the workplace, it is important to hire an experienced DUI attorney to try and defend your rights since the law states clearly that you are innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law.

Published on behalf of Christopher J. McCann, an Orange County lawyer that likes to write about DUI and criminal defense topics for the Law offices of Christopher J McCann‎. You can follow his tweets at @CJM_Law_Firm.

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